Luiz Felipe Scolari revealed that Neymar had no feeling in his legs after suffering the injury that ended his participation in the 2014 World Cup.
Neymar was kneed in the back by Juan Zuniga during the closes stages of Brazil's 2-1 quarterfinal win on Friday and left the pitch on a stretcher. It has since been confirmed that the Barcelona forward will play no further part in the tournament due to a fractured vertebra.
Scolari believes the injury has robbed Brazil of the one player they could not afford to lose and described his shock at watching the Barcelona attacker's exit from the competition.
The Brazil coach said, in quotes reported by Marca, that Marcelo asked his teammate how he was. "He replied: 'I can't feel my legs.' Scared, Marcelo called on the team doctor, but doctors are not allowed on the pitch.
"There was a lot of confusion. That image of Neymar being stretchered off towards the helicopter was a real shock, it was tough hearing his cries."
Scolari went on to describe Neymar's injury as "disastrous" and claimed the player could be irreplaceable for the Selecao.
"Neymar is our star player, because he's the type of match-winner who would make a difference in any team. We've lost the one player we didn't want to lose ahead of the semi-finals and the final."